Thiago Alcantara was so moved by being allowed to join Liverpool that he sobbed in the arms of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after the transfer was confirmed, the Bayern Munich CEO revealed on Sunday.
Thiago, 29, joined the Premier League champions on Friday after seven years at Bayern, a trophy-laden period which he capped last month with a Champions League title to go with his seven Bundesliga titles and four German cups.
“About 10 minutes after the transfer was completed, I found him standing on my spot in the car park,” Rummenigge told Sky Sports. “I thought, ‘what is he doing there?’ Then he came towards me, held me in his arms for five minutes and cried.” He said thank you for allowing the transfer,” said Rummenigge, who added that he too was moved to tears.
Rummenigge admitted Bayern had not wanted to let Thiago go. “He is a big loss for us, on the pitch but also as a human being. Nonetheless, we respected the fact that he wanted to do something new,” he added.
Thiago’s departure has fuelled rumours that Bayern are about to sign Ajax right-back Sergino Dest this week, as the reduction of options in midfield means that Joshua Kimmich can no longer help out in defence. Yet Rummenigge was reticent about the signing on Sunday. “I have read that the (Dest) transfer is done and dusted, but we are a still a long way away from that,” he said.
Rummenigge also said that Bayern would offer free coronavirus tests to fans travelling to the UEFA Super Cup clash with Sevilla on Thursday. “You need a negative test that is no more than 72 hours old (to enter Hungary), so we are offering free tests in our stadium on Monday and Tuesday,” he said.
He added that the “around 2,100” supporters going to Budapest would have tests both before the trip and when they return at Munich airport. “It is not in our interest that people come back from Budapest infected with the coronavirus and aren’t identified here.”
UEFA have decided to allow around 20,000 fans into the 67,000 capacity Puskas Arena for the Super Cup, despite a sharp rise in cases in the Hungarian capital over the last few weeks.